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Where is the current international trade system going considering the increasing trend towards unilateralism brought by the pandemic? 
  • 5

  • Course Code: POLS3000
  • University: Curtin University
  • Country: Australia

Welcome to POLS3000 International Political Economy where we will examine the global economy in both its theoretical and empirical aspects. A variety of perspectives in looking at the global economy will be provided in this unit as well as discussion on the important structural aspects of the global economy and some pressing issues confronting its stability.

This mix between the philosophical understanding of this study and the implementation of these perspectives to understand the issues surrounding the global economy will hopefully provide students with the skills to properly understand the working of some ongoing processes in our world: globalisation, regionalisation, free trade, economic development, among others.

The interaction between states and non-state actors (both within and beyond state level) in these processes will also be scrutinised. In an ever interconnected world (whether in terms of the movement of people, goods, services or information), this unit will aim at providing the necessary tools and knowledge to comprehend the complex processes occuring in the global economy. 

Research Question:  Where is the current international trade system going considering the increasing trend towards unilateralism brought by the pandemic?

Article 1

Zhang, Wei-Wei, Wang Dawei, Muhammad Tariq Majeed, and Sidra Sohail. "COVID-19 and international trade: insights and policy challenges in China and USA." Economic research-Ekonomska istraživanja 35, no. 1 (2022): 1991-2002.

This article examines how the pandemic has affected global trade, particularly in China and the US. This study, published in "Economic research-Ekonomska istraživanja" journal, explores the link between the pandemic and international trade patterns, revealing causal dynamics and policy implications.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented health crisis, so the authors investigated the complex relationship between the virus and international trade, a vital part of the global economy. The authors note that the pandemic has disrupted international trade as well as societies and economies worldwide. This premise drives their investigation into COVID-19, trade flows, and economic policies' complex relationships.

A robust empirical methodology uses the novel Fourier causality test to analyse monthly data from China and the US, two major global trade players. The authors seek causal links between COVID-19 cases, deaths, and trade volumes. Their findings show that COVID-19 cases and deaths directly correlate with trade volumes in China and the US, but the effects are heterogeneous. Chinese exports and imports directly cause COVID-19-related deaths, but not cases. Conversely, US exports and imports cause cases and deaths. These effects show how the pandemic affected trade patterns in these economies differently.

The empirically derived conclusions of the authors have major implications for the global trade system. The pandemic is causing death and disrupting global economic, social, and political interactions, according to the study. The authors emphasise that shocks to China and the US, two leading global economies with large trade shares, have global repercussions. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted trade in both countries, with the US suffering more.

Importantly, the study examines policy options to mitigate pandemic effects on international trade. It urges governments to prioritise vaccination and ensure trade flows. To mitigate trade shocks, the authors propose removing tariff and non-tariff barriers, liberalising COVID-19 products, and subsidies. They stress the importance of governments in promoting vaccination and trade policies to strengthen global supply chains.

Despite its benefits, the study acknowledges its limitations, including its short monthly data span. It suggests future research on disaggregated trade analyses to isolate COVID-19's effects on medical equipment trade.

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Article 2

Evdokimov, Alexander Ivanovich, and Mushfiq Guliyev. "International trade in the age of turbulent uncertainty, globalization, regionalization and pandemic." Globalization, Regionalization and Pandemic (December 27, 2020) (2020).

This article examines international trade in the context of turbulent uncertainty, globalisation trends, regionalization dynamics, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In the context of "Globalisation, Regionalization and Pandemic," this study examines the complex forces that shape international trade patterns.

The article examines international trade in the context of globalisation and regionalization and the COVID-19 pandemic's transformative impact. The complex interactions between the USA-China conflict, WTO degradation, and regional integration processes are changing the global trade landscape, according to Evdokimov and Guliyev. The authors examine the current challenges and prospects of international trade policy systems and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in light of modern uncertainties.

A strength of the article is its thorough analysis of international trade evolution factors. The authors criticise the WTO's anti-dumping provisions and propose anticompetitive alternatives. Their balanced view of the WTO's potential to adapt to modern challenges acknowledges ongoing reform discussions and emphasises the need for collective cooperation to navigate global trade.

The paper found that deglobalization is not a universal concept. Since the Great Recession, international trade flows relative to GDP have slowed, but the authors don't call this de-globalization. Instead, they blame the deceleration on a natural correction after the unsustainable hyperglobalization of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

This nuanced analysis challenges globalisation trajectory assumptions.

The study examines the complex relationship between economic policy, technology, and geopolitics. It emphasises that policy decisions, geopolitical shifts, and institutional frameworks drive international trade challenges, not just technology. The authors' discussion of new technologies' effects on inequality and institutional and political factors' effects on global trade provide a holistic understanding of the topic.

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Article 3

Abdal, Alexandre, and Douglas M. Ferreira. "Deglobalization, globalization, and the pandemic: Current impasses of the capitalist world-economy." Journal of World-Systems Research 27, no. 1 (2021): 202-230.

This article theoretically examines the interactions between deglobalization, globalisation, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The article presents causal propositions and identifies global economic trends, focusing on the 2007-2008 financial crisis's impact on deglobalization and globalisation. The authors argue that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated capitalist world-economy contradictions, impassessing deglobalization and globalisation trajectories.

Deglobalization and globalisation trends begin with a historical context that emphasises the 2007-2008 financial crisis's catalytic role. This historical context illuminates the complex relationship between these opposing forces in the global economy.

The study found that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated deglobalization-globalization tensions. The pandemic's disruptions of communications, commerce, and consumption have increased global economic uncertainty. These challenges have exacerbated the dilemmas of deglobalization and globalisation, forcing governments and corporations to reassess priorities and strategies.

The article highlights how the pandemic disrupted global supply chains. The authors note that international transport disruptions, new policies, and travel restrictions have raised trade costs. This has affected trade patterns, particularly in health and food. These implications are analysed in the study to illustrate theoretical discussions.

The authors also emphasise the micro-level effects of these disruptions on individual countries. They focus on Vietnamese business challenges. These companies have had trouble importing non-pharmaceutical goods and consumer demand has dropped. The authors' study of localised impacts deepens and clarifies the theoretical framework.

Abdal and Ferreira's article provides a comprehensive theoretical analysis of the complex relationship between deglobalization, globalisation, and the COVID-19 pandemic in the capitalist world economy. The authors illuminate the global economic system's complex issues by combining causal propositions with descriptive statistics.

Their focus on real-world consequences, such as supply chain disruptions and micro-level business impacts, helps them understand the complex and changing forces affecting international trade. This work helps researchers, policymakers, and scholars understand and navigate the complex global economic order.

Article 4

Vo, Thuy Dung, and Manh Dung Tran. "The impact of covid-19 pandemic on the global trade." International Journal of Social Science and Economics Invention 7, no. 1 (2021): 1-7.

This analytical study examines pandemic-related trade disruptions and shifts. The authors carefully compile, gather, and categorise numerous domestic and international reports on governmental initiatives, financial instability, and trade expenses. Through this integrated analysis, the study aims to comprehend the nuanced relationship between the pandemic, governmental responses, and trade outcomes.

The article's strength is its empirical methodology, which shows how the pandemic has affected international trade by drawing on a variety of data sources. The authors thoroughly describe WTO travel limitations and examine the pandemic's implications on trade costs, government actions, and economic uncertainty. The study's methodological approach enables it to examine the pandemic's complex effects on global trade.

According to the study, pandemic disruptions significantly increased trade expenses. The authors point out that border closures, quarantine regulations, and travel restrictions have all contributed to longer transport times and delayed goods.  This has greatly impacted global supply chains, trade patterns, and trade costs. The authors' detailed analysis shows how the pandemic affected trade logistics and operations.

The study provides valuable insight into the pandemic's micro-level effects, particularly in Vietnam. By studying Vietnamese businesses and industries, the authors illuminate trade disruptions in various ways. From reduced air transport capacity to difficulties importing essential goods and a drop in consumer demand, the authors explain the complex local effects.

The article emphasises trade's interdependence with health and travel. The authors argue that a country's ICT infrastructure is crucial to mitigating the pandemic's trade effects. They stress the importance of governments balancing trade facilitation and public health.

In conclusion, Vo and Tran's article provides a thorough and empirical analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on global trade. The study vividly depicts international trade disruptions, challenges, and transformations by synthesising many data sources and using an integrated analytical approach.

Their focus on local impacts, particularly in Vietnam, adds granularity and context to the narrative. This work helps researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders understand the complex global trade landscape after the pandemic.

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Article 5

Antràs, Pol. De-globalisation? Global value chains in the post-COVID-19 age. No. w28115. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020.

This article examines how the pandemic may affect global value chains (GVCs) and globalisation. It evaluates GVC dynamics after the pandemic and questions whether the world economy is deglobalizing. The study uses theoretical insights, empirical observations, and policy considerations to understand the post-pandemic economic landscape.

The article examines how de-globalization is affecting the global economy, particularly global value chains. Antràs argues that while international trade flows relative to GDP have slowed since the Great Recession, it may be premature to label this a de-globalization period. The author skillfully navigates the complex interactions that have shaped globalisation and de-globalization trends.

The article is balanced and avoids simplistic conclusions about globalisation. Antràs convincingly argues that the observed slowdown in global trade growth is a natural consequence of the unsustainable globalisation boom of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He provides a nuanced analysis of the mechanisms that drove this expansion and why they may have reached their limits. This method depicts the changing global economic order more accurately by not oversimplifying globalisation and de-globalization.

Technology, policy, and institutional frameworks underpin the expansionary phase of globalisation, according to Antràs. His analysis of these factors enhances the discussion's theoretical foundations and helps readers understand global economic trends' complex relationships.

Another highlight is the study's consideration of global value chains post-COVID-19. Antràs wisely argues that policy considerations will drive de-globalization, not technology. He emphasises institutional and political challenges in shaping globalisation and raises thought-provoking questions about technological advancements, inequality, and political backlash.

The article provides valuable theoretical insights but acknowledges its limitations in dealing with incomplete and imperfect COVID-19 pandemic data. Antràs emphasises the need for more research to understand the pandemic's long-term effects on global value chains and the economy.

Thus, Pol Antràs's article provides a nuanced and comprehensive analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic's potential effects on global value chains and globalisation. Antràs provides a balanced view of de-globalization by navigating historical trends, technological advances, and policy considerations. The article's theoretical depth, empirical insights, and cautious approach enhance understanding of post-pandemic global economic dynamics.

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References

Abdal, Alexandre, and Douglas M. Ferreira. "Deglobalization, globalization, and the pandemic: Current impasses of the capitalist world-economy." Journal of World-Systems Research 27, no. 1 (2021): 202-230. https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2021.1028

Antràs, Pol. De-globalisation? Global value chains in the post-COVID-19 age. No. w28115. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020. https://doi.org/10.3386/w28115

 Evdokimov, Alexander Ivanovich, and Mushfiq Guliyev. "International trade in the age of turbulent uncertainty, globalization, regionalization and pandemic." Globalization, Regionalization and Pandemic (December 27, 2020) (2020). https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3763101

 Vo, Thuy Dung, and Manh Dung Tran. "The impact of covid-19 pandemic on the global trade." International Journal of Social Science and Economics Invention 7, no. 1 (2021): 1-7. https://doi.org/10.23958/ijssei/vol07-i01/261

Zhang, Wei-Wei, Wang Dawei, Muhammad Tariq Majeed, and Sidra Sohail. "COVID-19 and international trade: insights and policy challenges in China and USA." Economic research-Ekonomska istraživanja 35, no. 1 (2022): 1991-2002. https://doi.org/10.1080/1331677X.2021.1930091

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